Question from Sara:
What is a load containment standard, and why is it important?
I would like to start with the second part of your question, the “why”.
Simply put, a proper standard ensures you apply enough stretch film, in the right manner to secure the load; thus making it to your customer intact and without wasting money by applying more film or other secondary packaging than necessary.
Now for the more complex answer to the first part of the question, the “what” …
The Load Containment Standard (when optimized) is just like any other process standard in your operation. If followed, you will have consistent results (because you have identified, defined, and control the critical process variables), and the standard can be objectively measured for verification.
There are many variables in the stretch wrap process that directly affect your load containment. For example: machine components wear, operators change machine settings, and finally, different types of loads require different degrees of containment. A proper Load Containment Standard should include:
Measured Force-to-Load, which is the amount of force the stretch film directly applies to the load, indicating how tightly the stretch film pulls the load contents together (unitizing them).
The percent of film stretch that we refer to as Total Applied Stretch, which determines how much force is required to stretch the film any further – once it has been applied to the load. This is an indication of how much the film will continue to stretch when forces during transportation act upon it.
The number of wraps.
The weight of the film applied.
All of these can be objectively measured. So once the baseline is established, it is easy to see when something changes that will affect load containment for each of your load types, and to know what to do to correct it.
You don’t have to tackle this one alone! We can help you develop optimized load containment standards either through on-site evaluation or from testing your product in our laboratory. Once your standard is in place, we provide ongoing verification to ensure the standard is being maintained, provide equipment repairs, offer additional operator training, or establish standards for new SKUs.
Thanks for asking!